A guest post from contributor Jim Gates!
Controlling energy costs in office buildings can be difficult due to the constant coming and going of employees and visitors to the building. There are a number of methods that can be used to reduce the amount of energy used in the office building and the methods chosen for each building should be based on the characteristics of that particular building to ensure maximum energy savings.
Here are five essential strategies for controlling the energy costs of an office building:
Turn off unnecessary lights–Turn off lights and equipment when not in use. Areas that are not being used can remain dark until needed unless keeping the area unlighted would pose a safety hazard in an emergency. Consider installing a master switch so that everything can be turned off easily at the end of the workday.
Cover windows wisely–Use window blinds to block direct sunlight in the warmer months to reduce cooling costs. The cost of the window blinds will be significantly less than the cost of the energy being used to cool the building, and they should last for many years before needing to be replaced. During the colder months, open blinds or remove window hangings during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat the building.
Unplug equipment not in use–Items that are known to drain energy as long as they are plugged in include coffee pots, radios, desktop printers, fans, and cell phone chargers. To make it easy to unplug multiple items at once, plug these devices into a power strip that can be turned off with one switch.
Maintain your HVAC system–Dirty ducts and air filters can increase the amount of energy needed for the HVAC system to work properly and can age expensive equipment. High quality air filters are able to trap more dust and dirt than cheap air filters, so it may be more cost effective to invest in a higher quality product that can be in use for a longer period of time. Clean ducts ensure high quality indoor air as well as making your ventilation system more energy efficient.
Upgrade to programmable thermostats–Replace manual thermostats with programmable thermostats. Some of these thermostats can be locked so that only authorized personnel will be able to change the programmed temperature.
Big Savings from Small Changes
Each of these actions to conserve energy in an office building takes a minimal amount of time or effort to put into effect. The energy savings that can be realized by taking these actions is well worth the effort involved.
Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for AirTek Indoor Air Solutions and our affiliate Alliance Environmental Group. We welcome your comments! For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on environmental services like mold remediation, lead removal and pest control including bed bugs, Like us at Alliance Environmental on Facebook or follow Alliance on Twitter!